Issue: 2017-03-08, PHOTO: Kelly Tabuteau
Overflight of Greenland
Impatient and excited, too: happy for this very next departure! And here I am, waiting for my trip to Whitehorse, only a flight from Frankfurt separates me from my dream…
The day before
I finally managed to pack my luggage. Okay, I have to admit, it wasn’t “easy” easy. I had to sit on my suitcase to close it, and once the zipper was zipped, no one was allowed to touch it. It didn’t really matter if there were things inside I could have left in France, they’d all arrive in Whitehorse (uh… at least, so I hoped)!
As for my backpack, it took me three times to get a bag lighter than 10 kg: "this sweater? Not essential, I already have my black vest. And those four shorts? Hmm Kelly, you often hike in sporty tights! A dress? Seriously??? In the middle of nowhere? Not necessary!"
With this kind of questioning, my bag decreased, both in volume (yes, it almost fell into the dimensions requested by Lufthansa), and in weight: 14.9 kg, 12.5 then 10.2! Halleluiah! I just crossed my fingers that nobody would accost me for the 200 grams too much. And if someone should, my plan B: take my camera in hand and put on three sweaters.
This day, I woke up at 6:45 a.m. I must say I was surprised to have such a good night's sleep. No stress, no sadness. But the anxieties arrived as we get closer to the airport.
My fear of the plane finally bit the euphoria of departure. We quickly found a parking space, tested the backpack in the cabin luggage template (as I expected, it didn’t fit… I decided to play the rebel and try it anyway. I was lucky, nobody told me anything, even though in the second plane it didn’t fit in the overhead bin, obliging me to keep it at my feet).
10:25 a.m.: time for "goodbye.” I felt my throat tighten, but I tried to be strong. A last selfie and I was carried away by the escalator that would lead me to customs and the boarding gate; tears in my eyes and a pinch in my heart. I thought about what was waiting for me over there, about this dream that I’ve had for so long, and finally my tears dried up and my smile returned slowly.
First flight of barely an hour in the direction of Frankfurt went well, despite my throbbing and sweaty hands on takeoff. From there, a layover of 2 hours and 45 minutes a relatively long time between the two planes, chosen voluntarily. According to numerous testimonies, it seemed that the Frankfurt airport was huge and some people had even missed their next flight.
So I didn’t know if it was the service that improved (a Lufthansa hostess was waiting in the lobby to direct me to the gate) or if I was lucky enough to arrive near terminal A and leave from terminal B, but in 15 minutes I was in front of door B42, ready to embark.
I passed the time reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, then, at 15:20, I climbed aboard the Condor Boeing 767. Canada was so close now…
This story is part one of a series about Kelly Tabuteau’s experience moving to the Yukon from France.